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Nigel Fish

First Run with a Heart Monitor, and Coming Upon an Unconscious Person.

4 min read

I returned to Taipei for a month, and got to hit my first run back in the new city with a heart rate monitor I borrowed from a friend. I was looking forward to seeing the data, but not expecting what happened during my run.

My friend and I launched out and I separated from my friend as I was running a faster pace. After only about 4 minutes of running, I came upon a man splayed out on the ground, with a bicycle helmet on and some other biking gear, seemingly unconscious. Another man was administering a poor imitation of CPR.

What's kind of morbidly cool, is you can see my reaction to coming upon this scene on my heart rate monitor on my Strava recoding, though I've highlighted the interesting bit here:


Heart Rate Uptick


I'm pretty sure that is definitely an uptick the moment I saw and realized a man was passed out on the trail and sufferring a serious medical issue! I find that pretty damn interesting. Unfortunately, because I stopped moving at this point, Strava deleted my non-moving data, and that's why it appears my heart rate then dropped rapidly, however, there is actually about a 2 minute gap there.

What happened next was somewhat confusing, and a very good lesson in what can go wrong in an emergency situation. Firstly, I arrived and saw a woman on her phone with emergency services, and another man, as I mentioned, administering a terrible imitation of CPR. He was basically nudging the man's chest.

My friend caught up shortly, and I asked her if she knew first aid. She checked the man's vitals. He was breathing, had a heart rate, and we couldn't actually see anything visibly wrong with him. We thought maybe he'd had a seizure, though as it later turned out he was definitely concussed as his bicycle helmet (which we couldn't see as it was under his head) had been severely damaged. I've never even seen a bicycle helmet exploded like that.

Unfortunately, my grasp on Chinese is not particularly strong, and most of the people gathering around did not speak English. We struggled to tell the man nudging the guys chest that it's really not necessary. Then, most unfortunately, another man rushed into the scene. He said something to me in Chinese, and as he seemed eager to move into the scene, I mistakenly felt that maybe he was a medical professional.

What a mistake!

This man proceeded to start punching the guy in the side of the neck, grabbed his nose (closing his airway), and then punched the man in the face. Holy shit! The way he was doing it implied that it was something he may have actually learned to do which is probably even the more shocking thing about it. He even ordered the other man who was doing the crappy CPR to begin administering pinching of the achilles heal.

What the fuck!

Again, we struggled to gain control of the people who, seemingly didn't really trust we might be the most knowledgeable people there. Despite the language gap, it was clear no one knew what to do.

At this point we were simply watching his vitals and trying to keep people from maybe punching him in the head! Around this time we noticed the severely damaged helmet and realized he was definitely suffering a serious head injury.

Way too many people started to crowd around and were asking us if we knew him and so on. He started to regain consciousness, and while he started to try and get up, we couldn't seem to convince people to tell him he should not get up.

Fortunately paramedics showed up, and once they took over the scene, we took off shortly after, as it felt pretty weirdly chaotic at that point, and we couldn't be of any further assistance.

Then I went for a 7.7km run. :|